Four years ago, the global recycling industry was forced to pivot when China changed its policies and began closing its doors to recycled bales. An oversupply of recycled material worldwide led to a dramatic drop in commodity prices and challenges for our local programs.
As North America’s largest recycler, Waste Management quickly shifted its focus to improving the quality of recycled material it processed, investing in recycling technology and infrastructure and encouraging demand for products made with recycled content.
For America Recycles Day 2021 on Nov. 15, we have good news to share.
Domestic markets for recycled feedstock have grown to replace China. The demand for recycled plastic has increased as manufacturers commit to using more post-consumer content to reduce GHG emissions.
We encourage Floridians to recycle all of their plastic bottles, jugs and food containers. In fact, milk jugs now have the highest value in residents’ recycling bins.
Today, 100% of the plastic that WM processes stays domestically, along with about 75% of recycled fiber. New and expanded paper mills in the U.S. are hungry for all the office and school paper, magazines, junk mail, paperboard and cardboard we can recycle to turn into new cardboard boxes and paper products.
Recycling Right continues to be a priority with a focus on clean, dry and empty cardboard, paper, plastic food containers, cans and bottles. Join us and do your part by committing to Recycle Right (see wm.com/recycleright).
No plastic bags, food or clothing in your recycling carts.
Don’t bag your recyclables; keep items loose.
When in doubt, throw it out — into the garbage. Non-recyclables and contamination in your container add costs to recycling.
Working with our municipal partners, we can encourage greater recycling participation, focus on collecting more of the recycling items that have the greatest environmental and economic value, and positively affect a community’s sustainability goals.
WM is proud that we have continued to provide an essential service to our customers and communities in Florida throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and we have invested in our team members as part of our sustainability focus. This includes our recently announced Your Tomorrow educational benefit that pays for team members’ higher education and upskilling opportunities that will extend to their spouses and children in 2022.
Read more: Non-recyclables, contamination in containers add costs to recycling